1. As OPEC looks to cut supply, US increases.
As other oil producers around the world are colluding to decrease the supply of oil, the US is not only opting out of the agreement, they are increasing oil production. For over seven weeks now, drilling for new oil has increased. Drillers added 12 oil rigs in the week to Dec. 16, bringing the total count to 510, the highest since January. This is still below 541 rigs at this time a year ago, but shows that US oil production is rebounding.
According to U.S. bank Goldman Sachs, "Since its trough on May 27, 2016, producers have added 194 oil rigs (+61 percent) in the U.S.,” Because of this, U.S. oil production is trending up, and has risen from below 8.5 million bpd in July to nearly 8.8 million bpd by mid-December.
2. BP Continues its shopping spree, increasing its oil and gas reserves.
On Monday BP agreed to buy stakes in gas-heavy exploration areas off the coast of Mauritania and Senegal from Kosmos (KOS.N). This comes days after announcing the long-awaited renewal of an onshore oil concession in Abu Dhabi, and BP's purchase of a stake in Eni's giant Zohr gas field offshore Egypt for $375 million before that.
The combined deals come to approximately $3.4 billion and will add much needed oil and gas reserves to BP's books, as they are still working to pay for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
"BP's shopping spree is the company's response to what the investor community has long been concerned about: long-term growth and resource sustenance," stated Brendan Warn, an analyst at BMO Capital Markets.
3. Trump picks Rick Perry as Energy Secretary.
President-elect, Donald Trump, has formally named the former Texas governor Rick Perry to lead the Department of Energy. In a statement from Trump’s transition team, the president-elect referenced Perry’s experience leading Texas, a leading oil-producing state from 2000 until 2015.
“Rick Perry created … a business climate that produced millions of new jobs and lower energy prices in his state, and he will bring that same approach to our entire country as secretary of energy,” Trump said in the statement.